Leman Altınçekiç

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Leman Altınçekiç
Born1932 (1932)
Died2001 (aged 68–69)
OccupationJet pilot

Leman Bozkurt Altınçekiç (1932–2001) was the first female accredited jet pilot in Turkish Air Force and NATO.

Early years[edit]

Leman Bozkurt was born in 1932 in Sarıkamış, Kars Province. After graduating from the girls' highschool in İstanbul, she applied to İnönü Training Center of Turkish Aeronautical Association in İnönü ilçe (district) of Eskişehir Province to be trained as a glider pilot.[1]

Military service[edit]

When Turkish Air forces decided to enroll women in 1954, she applied to Air Forces. She was the very first female student in the military school in İzmir. She was trained on propeller aircraft between 1955–1957. In an interview she says that in the early days, the school had no boarding facility for the female students and she had to stay as a guest in the house of an officer's family. On 30 August 1957, she graduated as a military pilot. Although, later, five other female students were also accepted to school, she was the only female student to join the aviation unit in Eskişehir military base.[2] She was trained in Eskişehir as a jet pilot and earned the rank of second lieutenant on 22 November 1958.[3] Up to 1967 she flew in Republic F-84 Thunderjet and Lockheed T-33. Later years she served in staff duty. She retired as a senior air colonel.[1]

Private life[edit]

In 1959, Leman Bozkurt married Tahir Altınçekiç, a colleague in Eskişehir.[4] She died on 4 May 2001 in İzmir.[1] She was laid to rest in Karabağlar Cemetery.[5]

Legacy[edit]

On 1 December 1984, which is the 50th anniversary of full suffrage for Turkish women, she was invited to the Turkish parliament for receiving a plaquet for being the first woman in a profession.[2]

Trivia[edit]

According to an Azerbaijani source she was of Qarapapaq Turk origin.[6]

References[edit]